I know you’re already a bit overwhelmed with all the decisions for your new home build … and now it’s time to pick yet another big (and expensive) item that will directly affect the curb appeal of your home … your WINDOWS! Below is an in-depth overview of the two MOST popular window types (single-hung and double-hung), as well as a brief explanation of five other common new construction window styles used in many homes! I’ll also share what types of windows I have in MY home!
By the end of this post, you’ll feel confident in choosing the best type(s) of windows for YOUR home!
NEW CONSTRUCTION WINDOWS VS. REPLACEMENT WINDOWS
Before going into an explanation of window types, it’s VERY important that you understand there is a difference between replacement windows and new construction windows!
REPLACEMENT WINDOWS are installed into a pre-existing window opening. They are measured to fit the existing window opening perfectly and are special ordered. Replacement windows are NOT used in new construction!
NEW CONSTRUCTION WINDOWS are designed for homes that are being constructed. These windows are NOT used in existing homes UNLESS the existing window is completely removed and the wall is stripped down to the studs. Sooo … you’ll be using new construction windows during your build!
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT WINDOW TYPES?
Double hung and single hung windows are the TOP two choices when it comes to new construction homes! These two window types are nearly identical with the exception of ONE big aspect … on double-hung windows, both panels (top and bottom) are operational (slide up and down as well as tilt in); whereas only the bottom panel is operational (slides up and only bottom tilts in) on single-hung windows.
Other common window types include casement, picture, transom, slider, and bay.
SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS
In single hung windows, only the bottom panel (aka, sash) moves (vertically up); the upper panel/sash does NOT move. Because the upper sash is stationary (= less moving parts), single hung windows are more energy efficient than double hung windows.
Single hung windows are less expensive to purchase and easier to install (which = less expensive) than double hung windows. Both types of windows can be customized with internal grills to complement your exterior design style … and both have nearly identical curb appeal!
Single hung windows are difficult to clean because the top sash doesn’t tilt open (as it does in double hung) … thus, you have to wash the exterior of the top window sash from outside your home. This poses a safety hazard when cleaning the outside of second-floor windows (eek!). Single hung windows also provide less ventilation and style choices as compared to double hung windows.
- less expensive than double hung (and nearly identical curb appeal)
- no slippage problems since upper sash doesn’t move
- more energy efficient
- easier to install than double hung
- only opens from the bottom so less air circulation than double hung
- more difficult to clean than double hung because have to clean outer upper sash from the exterior
DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS
Double hung windows are pretty much the go-to for new construction! Just like single hung windows, the sashes slide vertically up and down in the frame. The BONUS of a double hung window is that you can tilt and slide open the top AND bottom sashes (aka … panels).
Double hung windows offer better air circulation than single hung (bc you can open both top and bottom), can be customized with internal grills, come in more styles than single hung, and are easy to clean because both sashes tilt open which allows for easy cleaning from the inside of your home.
There are some downfalls to double hung windows … they are more expensive than single hung windows (both for the product and installation), they can be less energy efficient because the top sash is operational and therefore doesn’t have as tight of a seal, it can take some effort to pull down the top sash (I can attest to this one!), and sometimes the top sash can slide down (when you don’t want it to!) if not properly maintained.
- sashes open from both the top and the bottom which allows for great air circulation
- many styles available (more choices than single hung)
- easy to clean from inside your home
- more expensive than single hung windows
- can have problems with slippage and therefore less energy efficient than single hung
- can be difficult to open the top sash
I have double hung windows on 99% of the operational windows in my house! I LOVE them and wouldn’t change them! We get great air flow when we open the top and/or bottom of our windows!
Casement windows are operated by turning a crank and can open outward; they can be hinged on either the right or left side.
Casement windows provide great ventilation when open and also allow ample light to pour into your room. They are usually very easy to use and have a great seal when closed … this makes casement windows an energy efficient option.
The other 1% of my operational windows are casement! I have casement windows in my basement guest bedroom.
Picture windows are large stationary windows that maximize your outdoor view as well as the amount of light pouring into your home.
Picture windows are non-operational which means they are less prone to air leakage and, consequently, are more energy efficient.
These types of windows are designed to fill a large space on the wall … and are not suitable for any room that you might need easy access out in case of fire (e.g. bedroom).
I have HUGE picture windows in my foyer/stairway. I LOVE these as well because they are south facing and allow SO much natural light to pour into our home!
A transom window is a small narrow window that is mounted above a door or window to let in extra light. Transom windows can also be stand-alone and installed high in a room that requires privacy (e.g. closet or bathroom). Transom windows are typically stationary, but some are operational.
We added transom windows above our family room double hung windows. The transoms add more natural light (and look great too)! Honestly, I wish I had added transoms above my kitchen windows as well!
Slider windows glide along a track and have at least one operating window that slides horizontally over the other window. This is an inexpensive option because there are very few mechanical parts. Slider windows offer clear views and ample ventilation when open.
BAY OR BOW WINDOWS
Bay windows are a combination of windows that protrude out from the exterior of the home. These windows add extra interior living space and allow more light to pour into a room.
I personally love the design element that bay windows bring to a home! We have a bay window in our kitchen which adds more living space.
In this post, we covered seven commonly used new construction window styles … including the two MOST popular, single hung and double hung windows.
I hope you now feel like you better understand your window options and that you can confidently make a decision on what is the best style for YOUR home! If you found this post helpful, PLEASE share it with others via the social share buttons or the PIN below!